Vivek Ramaswamy is a familiar type of troll

Michael Arceneaux
5 min readAug 29

The GOP contender is a nonwhite voice arguing on behalf of the GOP’s bigotry.

Photo: @VivekGRamaswamy/Twitter

I remember the day I knew Vivek Ramaswamy would get on my fucking nerves as long as he played an active role in the 2024 presidential campaign.

It was his exchange with Don Lemon back in April in which the Republican presidential candidate got into a heated exchange with the new former CNN anchor after he argued that Black Americans had received equal rights after the Civil War and with the help of the National Rifle Association.

“Black people secured their freedoms after the Civil War; it is a historical fact, Don, just study it, only after their Second Amendment rights were secured,” Ramaswamy said on the April 19th episode of CNN This Morning.

In response, Lemon said, “You are discounting a whole host of things that happened after the Civil War when it comes to African Americans, including the whole reason that the Civil Rights Movement happened is because Black people did not secure their freedoms after the Civil War.”

Lemon added that it was “insulting” that the candidate was “sitting here, whatever ethnicity you are, explaining to me what it’s like to be Black in America.”

It was frustrating to watch someone with no clue lecture to those that have to live it — especially as the other anchor present sat there in silence, sometimes playing on her phone.

After the exchange went viral, Congressman Ro Kanna of California said he was “profoundly embarrassed by Vivek lecturing a Black man about Black history.”

“The truth is that the Black civil rights movement paved the way for the 1965 immigration act so that Vivek’s family or mine could come to America,” Khanna tweeted. “We owe a huge debt.”

CNN executives apparently saw it differently. After Lemon was ousted from the news network, they were reportedly “exasperated” with Lemon for challenging Ramaswamy so forcefully. I side with the folks who remember that day and were relieved someone tried to shut Ramaswamy up.

I wanted to minimize as much exposure to Ramaswamy as possible after that, but that has become more difficult in recent months as he’s ascended in the polls.

Michael Arceneaux

New York Times bestselling author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.”